It reminded me of a wake I attended many years ago. It was held Down Neck in Newark in Rucki Funeral Home (known by everyone as â€œRuckiâ€™sâ€ — pronounced “Rookie’s”), which was The Place to be laid out back then. You could always count on a couple old Polish ladies from the neighborhood coming in off the street to view the body and cry, even though they didnâ€™t know the person in the casket.
Anyway, the deceased in this case was a guy who was one of my uncleâ€™s buddies, and he was sort of a Sopranoâ€™s type fellow (although he died of natural causes). I only vaguely knew him, but I went because he was my uncleâ€™s friend. The funeral home was packed with flowers and people, and all the friends of the deceased lined up to console the widow, â€œYo, if you need anything, you just call. Anything at all â€“ just call.â€
Based on the outpouring of affection being displayed in the room where the body was, I figured the guy had been a friend to everyone and had been the salt of the earth, so to speak.
After a while, it was time to retreat to the smoking room for a break. My uncle was there along with several of the men who had offered solace to the grieving widow. I figured that I would join in with the deceasedâ€™s friends in some light repartee about what a fine fellow he was and how much he would be missed.
We stood in a small circle making small talk until one of dead guyâ€™s friends said, â€œF**k, this funeral shit: they should have backed up the garbage truck to take the c**ksucker the f**k away.â€
I think lots of wakes at Ruckiâ€™s were like that.
Itâ€™s a Jersey thing.